Anatomy of the Tide
The last time we checked in with these local filmmakers in the February, 2011 issue of TheScene, they were in the last fundraising stages to make their independent film and eager to begin shooting this summer. The good news is that the film is officially greenlit to shoot September 5 with rising, young stars from Los Angeles and New York attached to the project.
The film will be shot in and around Rockland and Vinalhaven and focuses on two boys in their final summer of adolescence as they’re forced to manage a dark secret on the secluded island where they’ve grown up. The producers just finished an extensive casting call session in New York City this past spring and have already brought on Susan Traylor (Heat, To Die For), and Nathan Keyes (The Good Doctor, Worst. Prom. Ever.) with more cast to be announced soon.
Every independent film needs all of the help it can get. Because of the producers’ strong relationships with the Midcoast waterfront community, they will have unfettered access to a range of resources, from lobster boats to stellar locations. “Ryan Post (one of the film’s producers), and I have our own boats so we know so much of this territory ourselves,” says screenwriter/director, Joel Strunk. “We have already found some amazing places.” Strunk and cinematographer, Daniel Stephens, just finished their first draft of a "look book" for the film. “It's going to be beautiful—Maine as it's never been seen,” says Stephens.
For more information about casting and blog updates behind the scenes, keep up with their website, Facebook and Twitter feeds.
(Untitled) Camden Maine Film
Emily Best, producer and actress in the still untitled Camden, Maine film shot this summer, is talking to me from her car as she drives back home to New York City on a dreary, rainy day. The film just finished shooting two days earlier. She tells me the rest of her cast and crew are most likely sleeping, having collapsed in an exhausted heap after a grueling 24-day shoot done during mostly nights.
Not only did they shoot this independent film shoot at a breakneck pace between July 12 and August 7, they did so with a tiny crew—only 17 people—so everyone, including the actors, did the job of three or four people.
The Maine roots on this film start primarily with Caitlin FitzGerald, the cowriter and lead actress, who grew up in Camden. Her family and friends provided much of the community support needed to get through the shoot. FitzGerald, noted for her roles in It’s Complicated as Meryl Streep’s daughter and as the female lead in Ed Burns’ newest film, Newlyweds, said it was her dream to return to Maine this summer to make this small narrative movie based on the loss of childhood friends that both she and cowriter Caroline von Kuhn experienced in their 20s.
The synopsis of the film follows Charlie, a young journalist, who learns her best childhood friend Katherine has died. She returns home to Camden, Maine, where she hides at dad’s camp to write the eulogy. Stuck in the process, Charlie sequesters herself further until two other close childhood friends, Grace and Jen, arrive at the house to drag her out of her solitude and help her write a definitive portrait of Katherine.
“We set out as six women to tell a story that was very personal,” Best says. “We all stayed together in four different places in Camden and it was a real family vibe.”
Most of the shooting occurred in private homes and in outdoor locations around Camden. Cuzzy’s Bar and Grill served as a backdrop for some pivotal scenes. “Cuzzy was an absolute king among men,” says Best. “For three nights in a row we shot from 2 am to 2 pm. He was there the whole time and played himself in the movie. He also let us shoot out at his house on Megunticook Lake.” The scene at Cuzzy’s that took place over the three consecutive nights was in the back room upstairs by the dartboards as Grace and Jen force Katherine out of her solitude and go out for drinks.
The micro budget of this film was $200,000, which relied on a lot of help and donations from the Midcoast community—everything from manpower to bug spray. “There were so many people who were unbelievably helpful,” says Best. “The Community School put some of us up. Rock City Roasters took care of all of our coffee needs. Market Basket provided catering and I will tell you everyone on set said it was the best set food they’d ever eaten. David Berez, owner of Post Office Editorial, Inc., was an endless source of help. We actually ended up living at his house and it became the production center. We also rented office space from Karen Hansen, who owns Connect Space. Jack Churchill hooked us up with all of his film kids at the high school; they ended up being an amazing source of help as interns. Maine Media Workshop was really fantastic as well. At one point we got desperate for crew and they put out a call and got us some extra crew.”
Once everyone gets caught up on their sleep, the next steps include editing the film starting September 1. The film is estimated to be about 90-100 minutes and they’re aiming for a spring release to coincide with film festivals, including the Camden International Film Festival. “Ben Fowlie (CIFF’s founder) was actually in our movie and he was a wonderful source of help as well,” says Best. With more exposure, the filmmakers are hoping to pick up a distributor.
“Maine really provided the perfect backdrop to tell this story,” says Best. “There is something about Maine in the summer that is so vibrant and so alive that teases out this dichotomy between grief and the joy and forces you to grow.”
For more information about the future of this film and blog updates, keep up with their website, above.
The Killer Convo
This blog is a is a killer roundup of all arts, entertainment, brewery & distillery, food trucks, happy hour happenings in the Midcoast Maine. Feel free to email me anything about Midcoast arts, entertainment & the creative economy.